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Thread: "Truth" in Science

  1. #1 "Truth" in Science 
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i just finished reading the following article in the Student BMJ and i was aghast to read that the organisation Truth in Science had sent a DVD promoting Intelligent Design to all heads of science in every secondary school in the UK

    i can only hope that they did one of the following on receipt of the DVD :

    1. throw it in the waste bin where it belongs
    2. petition the prime minister, stating that lobbying of state schools by religious groups is not on
    3. read up on the whole ID saga and teach it to students showing how and why ID (and its parent creationism) is not science

    is it any surprise that atheism is becoming more militant ? so would you if you had to deal with this type of underhand tactics to undermine proper science

    medics are usually not all that fussed about evolution - on the other hand, they probably realise how evolution is the underpinning of all biological and medical knowledge, so if they start becoming uneasy maybe it's time to take the threat of organised ignorance seriously


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    So what?


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    i just happen to care that the UK doesn't go the same way as the US, where a large number of people think ID is a cool idea just because they've been misinformed throughout their education
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    As I understand it, you are upset that someone has sent someone else a DVD promoting their point of view? We do that all the time over here on this side of the pond.

    I think you overestimate the impact of Intelligent Design here. As far as I know it isn't taught in any of the public schools.

    Don't worry about censoring ideas. If they have no merit they will die out on their own.
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  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    If they have no merit they will die out on their own.
    not too sure about that - creationism has been around in one form or another for at least a century, and it doesn't look like it's going away any time soon

    it's a bit like viruses : if you don't manage to kill them off completely, they tend to come back more vicious than before

    what's unnerving is that this type of development would have been unthinkable in the UK a couple of decades ago - i find the fact that it is now in the open without blushing a worrying development

    a bit like dracula not turning to dust when exposed to sunlight
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  7. #6  
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    As I understand it, you are upset that someone has sent someone else a DVD promoting their point of view?
    Expressing your point of view is a good thing. "Promoting" it, in the sense of trying to impose it on others, is in a completely different category.

    We do that all the time over here on this side of the pond.
    I agree. And that's not a good thing, especially if it's religious or political dogma that comes under the disguise of pseudo-science.

    If they have no merit they will die out on their own.
    Really? Surely, ignorance has no merit to the ignorant. Does that mean ignorance is on the decline?

    There's no such thing as "no merit". Your disdvantage is someone else's advantage.

    it's a bit like viruses : if you don't manage to kill them off completely, they tend to come back more vicious than before
    It's actually worse than that. Even if you were able to "kill" ignorance completely, it would still return, unless you keep fighting it. Ignorance is the default state of the human mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    Expressing your point of view is a good thing. "Promoting" it, in the sense of trying to impose it on others, is in a completely different category.
    What was there about the incident described (sending a DVD) that puts it into a different category?

    I agree. And that's not a good thing, especially if it's religious or political dogma that comes under the disguise of pseudo-science.
    Freedom of speech is not a good thing?
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    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    yet another case of religious people trying to force their veiws on others, is this what a loving god would want? is all i can ask them
    Come see some of my art work at http://nevyn-pendragon.deviantart.com/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    yet another case of religious people trying to force their veiws on others, is this what a loving god would want? is all i can ask them
    What force is involved?
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  11. #10  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    trying to get them to drop Dawinism and teach creationism. That's forcing christianity the realm of science where it does not belong
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    trying to get them to drop Dawinism and teach creationism. That's forcing christianity the realm of science where it does not belong
    The creationists think their ideas are scientifically valid. You disagree. What is the problem? They are no more forcing their ideas on anybody than you are.

    If Streamsystems, Dr Turner or Farsight sent DVDs to the heads of science wanting their ideas taught in school, I may disagree with that, but I'm not going to get all indignant about it.
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  13. #12  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    think "thin edge of the wedge"
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Nevyn
    trying to get them to drop Dawinism and teach creationism. That's forcing christianity the realm of science where it does not belong
    The creationists think their ideas are scientifically valid. You disagree. What is the problem? They are no more forcing their ideas on anybody than you are.

    If Streamsystems, Dr Turner or Farsight sent DVDs to the heads of science wanting their ideas taught in school, I may disagree with that, but I'm not going to get all indignant about it.
    Good point. Come on, guys, chill out. The DVDs were sent to the head dudes as a petition for a cause. It's all politics, man. Politics got evolution to be taught in schools, and politics is what's gonna get 'em out of schools, and if they get 'em out of schools, politics is what's gonna get 'em back in schools. They think they're right, and they're going to do what's necessary, so long as it isn't detrimental to others, to spread their ideas. I don't see anything wrong with that: I write letters to heads of departments a lot of times; don't see any difference between written petitions and DVD petitions. *shrug*
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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  15. #14  
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    What was there about the incident described (sending a DVD) that puts it into a different category?
    Doesn't this ring any bell? Doesn't it seem odd to you? Scientists don't go around knocking on peoples doors, wearing black suits and name tags, to disseminate their scientific theories. They don't fill your mailbox with colorful fliers to advertise their opinions. They don't bother you at home by leaving unwanted messages on your answering machine. And they don't send unrequested DVD's to school boards. That's sneaky and creepy, to say the least. In other words: A typically Christian practice of religious dissemination. That goes far beyond practicing your right to freedom of speech. Spamming boards of education has absolutely nothing to do with science.

    Freedom of speech is not a good thing?
    It sure is. But there is a difference between expressing yourself for the purpose of expression, over bothering me in my own home with your unwanted misinformation, to sneaking that stuff into places where it doesn't belong.

    Scientific ideas don't need to be advertised by pamphlets in whatever multimediatic form. Why don't those people understand that if someone is really interested in learning about their ideas (s)he will approach them. There's no need to harass everyone with unrequested information. That advertising practice is on the same level as the leaflets that fill my mailbox everyday, and the spam that fills my email inbox: A ludicrous, primitive and very annoying exploitation of "freedom of speech". I wouldn't cry a tear if "freedom of speech" would gain an addendum that requires "responsibility to respect that not everyone wants to be bothered with your crap!".
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    M, let's put the shoe on the other foot. Your local school board has decided to include a module to teach creation theory alongside evolution. You're going to tell me you take that lying down? I think the letters, DVD's, whatever are going to be flying all over the place. Oh,yeah.

    And no, freedom of speech does not need an addendum.
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  17. #16  
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    M, let's put the shoe on the other foot.
    What if I only have one?

    Your local school board has decided to include a module to teach creation theory alongside evolution. You're going to tell me you take that lying down?
    a) My local school has always been teaching creation theory, and no one ever had a problem with it. Neither have I. I consistently got high scores in religion and always liked it.

    b) That wasn't the point of the discussion. If the school board wants to do that they will find their own information and decide on a textbook. They don't need to be spammed! It's the messianic attitude that goes on my nerves, not the message.
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  18. #17  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    [quote="M"]
    I wouldn't cry a tear if "freedom of speech" would gain an addendum that requires "responsibility to respect that not everyone wants to be bothered with your crap!".
    I can't agree. I even uphold the right for an individual to cry out "Fire" in a crowded theatre. I also uphold his right to lynched by the relatives of those trampled to death in the resultant stampede. In other words all freedoms carry with them responsibilities, and freedom of speech is no different. All actions have consequences. TANSTAAFL.
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  19. #18  
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    all freedoms carry with them responsibilities, and freedom of speech is no different
    I wish this were clear to everyone. Unfortunately it isn't. Sure, the call for a "Bill of Responsibilities" to go along with the Bill of Rights is not really meant seriously. It's simply an expression of disappointment in the fact that people fail to see the logical and natural connection between a right that's granted to them and the more important responsibility that comes with it (namely to uphold the same set of rights for everyone else).

    To give you an everyday example, when I stand at a red light and turn the volume of the music in my car up until the car standing next to mine starts to jump up and down, I am not only making use of my freedom to express myself. I am also violating the other guys privacy. Every right given to all people (not just to me) hits a limit when I start violating somebody else's right. This may not be a written rule, but to me it is common sense. To live by this rule, i.e. to choose not to make use of my rights when it would violate others', is called consideration. That's how I see it, but it may be a minority opinion. For example, I rarely see consideration enter any discussion on freedom of speech.

    I wasn't serious in expressing support for another silly addendum. Every law that we pass is a (sometimes necessary) admission to failure: We should know better without having to write it down as a law. Unfortunately that's not how things work in reality. In practice, I think laws are not really effective in preventing people from acting badly, anyway. Mostly they are needed to hold people accountable after they have acted badly.
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  20. #19  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    when I stand at a red light and turn the volume of the music in my car up until the car standing next to mine starts to jump up and down, I am not only making use of my freedom to express myself. I am also violating the other guys privacy. Every right given to all people (not just to me) hits a limit when I start violating somebody else's right.
    I am working on a potentially effective counter to this particular behaviour. I intend to learn how to vomit on command. Since players of loud music invariably have their windows wound down, they are inviting trouble. I shall simply lean through the window of the stopped car and say apologetically, "I',m so sorry. Loud music makes me spew." Then unload over the plush interior. I think it should produce some intersting results.
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